Interview with Kalraj Mishra

Kalraj Mishra
Kalraj Mishra
Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Are there any targets set for 2020 for this purpose?

KM: In comparison to 2013-14 and 2014-15, the production of khadi has increased 1.5 times and so has the marketing for khadi. We aim to promote khadi, and increase the production of the fabric too. We seek to take orders from all the ministries for khadi. We have received orders from the railway and defence ministries, to name a few, so that we can continue to promote khadi.

What are the plans that NTC has laid out?

KM: NTC works as a corporation.

For the development plans announced for MSMEs for 2016-17, ?3000 crore were allocated to the ministry.

KM: We have distributed the budget of Rs3000 crore for khadi, PMEGP, MSME, for various schemes and MSME minister Kalraj Mishra after inaugurating the Khadi sales outlet, at Parliament House, in New Delhi (August, 2016). Minister of state for MSME Giriraj Singh and other dignitaries are also seen.have set targets. Earlier, a very low amount used to be spent, but now we utilise the complete budget by December. We will ask for more in the future.

Please tell us about the MSME policy you talked about.

KM: A lot of people have asked for and made suggestions towards the MSME policy. We have a one man committee for the same. Our cabinet secretary earlier, Prabhat Kumar, is developing the policy, which will be launched by October.

How is the MyMSME portal doing?

KM: Along with the portal we also have an app. Please take a look and tell us what is right and what isn't.

Are you happy with the progress of the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI)?

KM: Yes, yes, I am happy. Initially nothing was being accepted under it. For the first time ever, more than 71 SFURTI clusters have been recommended and not only that, schemes have been implemented as well. There are three clusters - one is heritage, under which there are 1000-1500 artisans. Second is a major cluster, which also consists of 500-1000 artisans, and third is a mini cluster, which has about 500 artisans. The budget for each cluster has been decided-?8 crore for heritage cluster, ?3.5 crore for major, and ?1.5 crore for mini cluster. Through this we aim to bring about technological and innovation changes as well as develop infrastructure for the benefit of artisans. There used to be very few meetings for this purpose earlier, but now we have started meeting every other month. Earlier, this used to be need-based, the state government and our people used to go in search of places that have such demand. There are a lot of traditional industries.

The MSME ministry has a Mahila Coir Board. Do you plan to introduce any new schemes for women?

KM: For women and the coir industry, we have the Mahila Coir Yojana. In villages of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, the coir industries are present. Women play a big role in coir industries. We have introduced cluster schemes also in this industry, under which more than 7 lakh women have been employed. There is also the Coir Udyami Yojana (CUY) under which we provide a subsidy of ?10 lakh. A lot of people have taken advantage of this. The entrepreneur pays only 5 per cent; the bank and we take care of the rest. We are also developing the clusters. We upgrade technology, empower women, and renovate the industries through the schemes. We also export the products made within the industry. This is extremely popular. We have introduced a Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD) scheme just for women entrepreneurs. NGOs run it. We provide loans of ?2.5 lakh. The other scheme is Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), for which we provide a subsidy to women towards the margin money. For general category, we give 15 per cent in subsidy. For women in cities we provide 25 per cent and in villages 35 per cent. The other scheme that the prime minister recently announced was the Stand Up India Scheme, under which there are 1,25,000 banks involved. These banks will adopt a SC candidate and a woman to provide loan. Some 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs will be supported in this way. For SC/ST, there is also SC/ ST manufacturing hub. Our ministry is working on it. A budget of ?500 crore has been allocated for the scheme.

As the ministry of MSME, what is the focus you want to bring on R&D?

KM: The prime minister has announced Start-Up India. The general outlook towards start-ups is that one who has an IT background or is educated can begin a start-up. But we do not think so. Any person who has innovative ideas and can do things differently can work on a start-up. Something new will benefit society. With this thought, we aim to support and provide a status of start-up to them. We provide loan, subsidy, without any government intervention.

We also have a scheme, ASPIRE - a scheme for promotion of innovation, rural industries and entrepreneurship. ASPIRE is implemented at small incubation centres, business incubation centres and technical business incubation centres. Some want to get technical innovations like using a modern machine worth ?4-5 lakh or ?10 lakh; one can also do research and development.
Published on: 03/10/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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